Mercules' new project

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Mercules

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Well... the Skyline is gone and, quite frankly, good riddance! It was a fun project (scary sometimes) and I learnt a great deal in the process. The the most valuable lesson would have been "For every action there is an equal & opposite reaction"... for example: take one standard 1987 Skyline and add almost 400 horsepower then sit back and watch the brakes and suspension fail dismally. Sure i could have put in bigger brakes and coil-over suspension but in the end it really goes to show that no matter how much cash you put into a 1987 budget family sedan, it will always remain just that.

So now, with a deep-seeded lust for twincam six cylinder turbocharged sports cars and a budget of $10,000 there were only two choices - Nissan R33 Skyline GTS-T vs Toyota Soarer GT-T. I sat down and did the maths....

Both vehicles share many spec in common:
  • 2.5 litre twin cam turbo 6
  • Decent brakes & suspension package
  • Strong transmission, both auto and manual
  • Readily available aftermarket tuning parts
  • Classic early 90's styling

But the differences are what really makes the choice hard:
  • the Nissan weighs in at 1320kg compared to the Toyota at 1540kg
  • the Nissan is relatively bland & featureless compared to the quality & luxurious gadgets of the Toyota
  • the Nissan RB25DET can be tuned up around to 400 horses on standard internals compared to 500 in the Toyota
  • single medium sized turbo on the Nissan compared to twin small turbos on the Toyota

Although the lighter Skyline is the better choice for handling, the Soarer is worlds ahead in terms of technology, performance, comfort & refinement - a clear winner in my opinion... so now it was just a matter of finding one that hadn't been pimp'd, ho'd, bling-blinged or thrashed. My search took several months, hours of negotiating and many wasted weekends test driving dungers - until I found a jewel in Taree of all places!

1991 GT-TL (limited edition with many additional features) absolutely no dents or scratches - pristine interior - Class A private import - 112,000km on the clock - meticulously maintained with only a few minor technical issues, common to the model, that I could easily sort out.

After agreeing on a price, I caught the XPT up to Taree and drove home with my new "obsession". I have since fitted some aftermarket wheels and a custom made high-performance exhaust system which have drastically improved handling and horsepower respectively.

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Plans for the future? A larger front mounted intercooler, further exhaust modifications and boost tuned to around 16psi should see around 400 horsepower (flywheel) and be good for mid to low 12 second 1/4 mile pass. That should be enough... for a while :rolleyes:
 

motec 6.9

Prodigal Son
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Nice looking Soarer Mercules i used to have a sc400 allways wanted the turbo Zoom magazines import a few years ago worked over a 1jz soarer and from memory the limiting factor is the factory twin turbos need to be discarded PS if i can find a decent cosmo 20b im there:D
 

BenzBoy

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Well done Cameron and a nice looking car as well - a very neat design that deserves to be a classic in due time. However, I had heard that you were taking over as chief engineer at the new Saab-Spyker Cars Ltd to breath some life into the old Swede!! Maybe that will still eventuate - probably about the same time as you put twin turbos on my Spirit. :D:D:D
Regards,
Benz-Boy
 

Michel

The Prince of Arabia
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Cool looking car Mercules.;)

Don't mind BenzBoy, he makes mistakes sometimes and is forgetful.:rolleyes:

He meant twin turbos on his Phantom, not the Spirit :eek::eek::eek:
 

BenzBoy

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Cool looking car Mercules.;)

Don't mind BenzBoy, he makes mistakes sometimes and is forgetful.:rolleyes:

He meant twin turbos on his Phantom, not the Spirit :eek::eek::eek:

I can't remember the last time I was forgetful.........
Anyway, had you been at Ant's Brilliant Luncheon Party you would know about Mercules' attempts to put Turbos on everything that moved. Even Ant was worried that he might be sporting a tube or two before the day was over...
Regards,
Benz-Boy
 

Michel

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I can't remember the last time I was forgetful.........
Anyway, had you been at Ant's Brilliant Luncheon Party you would know about Mercules' attempts to put Turbos on everything that moved. Even Ant was worried that he might be sporting a tube or two before the day was over...
Regards,
Benz-Boy

Yeah, well I wish I was there....:eek:

I would have volunteered my 690SEL :p
 

SELfor50

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Love it Twin Cam. ;) Very nice buy. Perfect example, but no doubt you waited for the right one.

It's interesting, i've never noticed till now, that the door frames actually cut-out/into the roof of the car. Looks a little strange from the top, but I'm guessing there's a design reason for it?!

Nice rims too mate.

Looking forward to see how long this one stays standard for.................................... :cool:

I'm up your way in 3 weeks if you're round, keen to catch up for a steak and a cruise. :)
 

motec 6.9

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Hi Mercules sounds like your the twin of someone i used to know in Canberra who would turbo anything that moved or not i know he was the first in oz to fit a sr20 turbo to a datsun 1600 it was featured in hot4's and i believe was also first at wrx drive train in brumby ute last time i was back for the nats he was ridding a Yamaha Jog fitted with a blo thru turbo in front off the rear wheel and had a hitlers revenge with 996 vario cam motor and i was sent some video footage of him driving at fairburn hillclimb track near Queanbeyan in a patrol and it was lapping in high 40's i think:eek:
 
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Mercules

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First visit back to Topklasse in ages - sorry I have been so absent and double sorry I could not make it to the BBQ - looks like I missed a great day!

Update on the Soarer... it has not been good im afraid! The crankshaft thrust bearings dropped (a sorta common issue on this engine) and the crank was floating about 8mm in and out - was absolutely pouring oil out! I had 2 choices:

  1. Rebuild OR
  2. Low KM jap import engine swap

I priced up option 1 and it was $400 for the bearing set alone - thought if im gonna do the bottom end, I may as well do pistons, rods and head studs while I'm at it... the price was now over $3k

I called a friend of mine about getting a low KM jap import engine and turns out I could pick up a complete engine + turbos + alternator, steering pump, wiring harness and ECU for little more than the bearings!!!! Option 2 was immediately taken.

Engine out...
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Quick clean up of the bay...
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Engine back in...
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Simple as that! Well not that simple... put it this way, I did nothing else last weekend except work on the car! 8am till 5pm non stop on Saturday (not even lunch) saw the swap completed and engine running - Sunday was clean up and final touches.

The new engine got new plugs, filters, cambelt, rocker cover seals, crank & cam seals + several oil and coolant flushes and now its sweet. It fired to life on the second crank (after fuel pressure came up) and runs beautifully + feels slightly more powerful than the previous engine.

WTF will be next???
 

Michel

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That front end chassis design looks remarkably similar to a W126. ;)
Tim

The Toyota Soarer is aka as a Lexus SC400.

And we all know who Lexus copies consistantly in its aim to be recognised as a luxury car maker :eek::eek::eek::eek:
 

SELfor50

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Great job twin cam - looks nice. Very tidy at the end also.

How much extra squirt does it have?

Wait, you paid how much for that engine??? What's the stock output of those puppies?
 
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Mercules

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Great job twin cam - looks nice. Very tidy at the end also.

How much extra squirt does it have?

Wait, you paid how much for that engine??? What's the stock output of those puppies?

Not sure how much more power - it just feels like it wants to rev more easily and doesnt sound as thrashy at redline :rolleyes:

Ya the engine cost me $500 - was a bit of a gamble but the comp test was good and it seems like a very tight engine - will probably rebuild the old engine if we dont have babies soon :eek:

Stock output is rated at 206kw (engine)
Standard they make around 150kw at the wheels...
Mine is making 195kw with exhaust and a little more boost

more to come...
 

Styria

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Mercules - what caused the thrust bearing to 'drop out' in the first place - it's not the sort of problem that should arise in the first place if the bottom end is well designed. At least, that's what I think.

TJ450, Until you mentioned it, I had not noticed the similarity in the engine and inner guard rails in their design. It looks as though Michel has a very valid point. In fact, if one looks at the various Lexus models over the last few years, no in fact since inception, the styling has quite clearly been copied from Mercedes Benz. Yep, I just wish they could come up with their own designs. Even the 250 (whatever) is a copy of BMW styling.

Mercules - you know, at that totally negligible cost to purchase the replacement engine, we almost have to ask ourselves why we bother with Mercedes Benz. Is your price an isolated, 'friendship' price ? I cannot envisage walking into a Japanese car wrecking yard and picking up the sort of deal that you obtained. I would have thought that with everything you bought, the price would have been no less than $3k. Am I correct ?

Just imagine if we could purchase parts for our 116 models at that sort of level - they'd be real collectors' models, much sought after, instead of finishing up as a glorious pile of crushed metal in a recycling yard. Yeah well........Regards Styria
 
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Mercules

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Im told the thrust bearings are a weak point on these engines but its more likely to happen on a manual version - the push from the clutch tends to speed it up - I guess i was just lucky :rolleyes:

The old engine is fairly dirty inside so Im gonna put it down to lack of servicing from the previous owner.

As for Toyota/Lexus copying Mercedes Benz design - car companies have been copying each others ideas since apeman carved the first stone wheel - always have and always will. Im sure there is some Toyota influence somewhere in a Mercedes Benz. I recently saw a Mercedes 190E with a 1JZ-GTE (my engine) installed and selling for big money - vast improvement if you ask me... even over the "hot" Cosworth engine variant - unique value aside.

Yes the engine did come as a fantastic deal through my best mate - ordinarily the engine package would sell for about $1500-2000 - needless to say I owe him many hours of spanner spinning on his car now!

Its comes down to both what you know and who you know sometimes!
 

TJ 450

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As for Toyota/Lexus copying Mercedes Benz design - car companies have been copying each others ideas since apeman carved the first stone wheel - always have and always will. Im sure there is some Toyota influence somewhere in a Mercedes Benz. I recently saw a Mercedes 190E with a 1JZ-GTE (my engine) installed and selling for big money - vast improvement if you ask me... even over the "hot" Cosworth engine variant - unique value aside.

Very true. Car companies wouldn't progress anywhere if they had to "reinvent the wheel" (pun intended ;)) each and every time, and they like to keep up with the current styling trends.

There will always be the shepherds and the sheep, however.:cool:

Tim
 

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